Post-TRC Prosecutions in South Africa

Accountability for Political Crimes after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Amnesty Process

After the transition to democracy in 1994, South Africa implemented an innovative scheme at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, granting perpetrators conditional amnesty. It essentially calls for the prosecution of those who did not receive amnesty for the crimes they committed during the apartheid conflict. This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of prosecutions after the amnesty process. Drawing on interviews with key protagonists and largely unpublished documents, the volume analyses trials and the political background. It scrutinises the issue in the normative framework of national and international human rights law, and addresses whether the prosecutions were adequately carried out. The study thus allows a concluding evaluation of the justice and consistency of South Africa’s internationally acclaimed amnesty process.
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Biographical Note

Ole Bubenzer, Doctor of Law (2009), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, is currently candidate attorney at the Berlin Supreme Court. During several extended stays in South Africa from 1998 onwards, he has closely followed the political and transitional justice developments there.

Table of contents

Abbreviations; Preface; Introduction;
Chapter One Dealing With the Legacy of the Past—
Transitional Justice in South Africa:
1. The Apartheid Conflict;
2. The Negotiated Transition and the Work of the TRC;
3. Accountability for Past Human Rights Violations in the
South African Context: Conditional Amnesties and
Prosecutions;
4. Criminal Trials During the 1990s;
Chapter Two Prosecution of Political Crimes Aft er the TRC:
1. Special Units for Post-TRC Prosecutions;
2. The Wouter Basson Case;
3. The Bisho-Massacre;
4. The Trial of Michael Luff;
5. The Case of Tyani and Gumengu;
6. Eugene Terre’Blanche;
7. The PEBCO-Three Case;
8. The Blani Case;
9. The Attempted Murder of Frank Chikane;
10. Conclusion;
Chapter Three The Politics of Prosecutions:
1. Overview;
2. Bargaining Over the TRC’s Legacy;
3. A Prosecution Policy for TRC-Related Cases;
4. Conclusion on Government’s Political Considerations;
Chapter Four Normative Standards and Practical Prospects
for Further Prosecutions:
1. Constitutional and International Law Requirements;
2. The Prosecution of Torture and Statutes of Limitation;
3. Strategies and Priorities;
4. General Prospects for Further Trials;
5. Non-Prosecutions;
Chapter Five Conclusion:
1. Summary of Results;
2. The Conduct of Prosecutions in the Context of the TRC
Process;
3. Closing Remarks;
Bibliography; Press Reports; Interviews; E-Mail Correspondence;
Statements, Papers and other Documents; Index.

Readership

All those interested in transitional justice and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as scholars of human rights law, international criminal law and political and social sciences.

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